Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Easy answer - sure!! You can save a fortune a Custom Builder like me will charge you; or maybe not.

Maybe you can save money and have a great building experience, but chances are you won't. Building a team of quality trades people takes years. My trade partners work well together. One doesn't leave a problem for the next. Quick example - most homes I build have attached garages with either hardwood or tile leading from the home into the garage. My framing carpenters always make the rough opening height for that door 1" higher than normal because the garage door will have a threshold attached and sit higher than the other interior doors. It makes setting that door easier for my trim carpenters when they arrive much later in the construction process. That is just one of dozens of "little" things that make the building experience run smoother.

My questions to you are:

  1. Do you know how to choose your sub-contractors? Often the cheapest bid turns out not to really be the least expensive and is certainly no guarantee you'll get quality workmanship.
  2. Do you know when to schedule whom? And what lead time they'll need? And will they be there when you need them? When they are on the job do you know what to ask for and what to expect? Are your expectations too high or too low? How long can you expect them to be there so you know how to schedule the next trade?
  3. If you have an issue later in the building process and need their help again, will they come back? If they won't come in a timely manner, what leverage do you have? Certainly not the promise of another home.
  4. If you've never built a custom home you may not realize the amount of time you'll need to devote just to select all of the components that will go in your home. Do you know all of your choices? Do you know the best places to go? And will you get "builder pricing"? There is no such thing as "builder pricing" on some items, but there is on others.
  5. Do you plan to work with an interior designer or are you going to "save" their fee too? Do you know when to use them and what to expect? I've found their professional eyes have helped me build a better home.

I sincerely don't mean to sound as hateful as these questions may seem. But they really are questions you need to ask yourself. I have suggested to some who are deciding whether to be their own General Contractor perhaps they should do what they do "full time" in order to pay the Builder what he or she does "full time". Gee, that sounds hateful to me too, but I don't mean it to be.

Building a custom home should be a rewarding experience. A professional Custom Builder can help make building your dream home an enjoyable experience. Do you really have the time and want to be your own General Contractor?